This article was originally published by Four Points Press on February 11, 2022.
Lance Christian Bigman Rock, 42, passed away from complications due to Covid-19 on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, Montana.
He was born on May 10, 1979 to Roberta Big Man, of Crow Agency, Montana, and Earl Rock, of Pryor, Montana, at the Crow Indian Health Service Hospital in Crow Agency.
He was Lance Hogan's namesake. His Apsaalooké name Ashdaaskmachiash / Fights on the Edge of the Camp was given to him by his great-grandfather, the late John E. Wilson Sr. Lance was a member of the Big Lodge Clan and a child of the Greasy Mouth Clan.
Lancey Boy, as he was affectionately known in his childhood, was adopted in the Crow way by his aunt and uncle Karen and Billy Ray Eastman Sr. He was raised, in part, by his maternal grandparents Benjamin and Beverly (Charges Strong) Big Man Sr. and his aunt and uncle Lorrie and Eric Brien. His Godparents were Dexter Falls Down and Marcelline Little Nest.
Lance spent much of his childhood with his adopted families, whether he was recording toy commercials on VHS to show papa Ben and grandma Beverly or spending the summers playing baseball with uncle Eric's and aunty Lorrie's Center Lodge Little League teams, he always had a smile on his face and the funniest jokes in the crowd.
Despite any hardship Lance was facing, he could be found encouraging others with his quick wit and infectious laughter.
Lance was known for his big heart, he loved people to the fullest of his ability, none more fully than the children in his life. One of the first children he adopted as his own was Naomi Rose, one of his older sister Rebecca's twin girls.
One night, Lance insisted on waking his sister Mary to tell her the baby was crying. The siblings quietly approached the bassinet only to find the premature infant sleeping.
As Mary tells it, she admonished her brother for waking her up in the middle of the night to check on a sleeping baby, but Lance insisted Naomi was crying, "deep down, on the inside."
He convinced his younger sister to pick up Naomi and hand her to him, where he immediately accidently disconnected her heart monitor cables causing the monitor's alarm to sound, waking both twins. If Naomi wasn't crying before, she surely was then.
Lance loved babies and children and that love only grew stronger as he adopted more and more kids. He always remembered and checked on them regularly. His nephews Christian Aaron Lee and Joshua Lance and his grandson Oliver Lance are his namesakes.
Lance met Yolanda Plenty Hawk, the couple married on Halloween 2008 and soon their home overflowed with five children of their own, Amaré Dale, Marsaiah Beverly Jean, and Valarie “Baby Val” Nicole, Daniel Wade, and Christian Vaquero. They were Lance’s pride and joy.
The couple later divorced, but remained life-long companions.
Throughout his time with us, Lance enjoyed fishing the Little Big Horn River, his brother and long-time fishing buddy was Eric Leland Big Man Brien.
Lance and Lee grew up as an inseparable pair. They were partners in good times, in bad times and, yes, sometimes, even in crime. Although Lance has many close friends who call him brother, he and Leland share a special bond that cannot be broken.
Lance was an exceptional brother-in-law to all of his sisters-in-law, and he could never pick a favorite lady among them. They tested his wit with their relentless teasing. Secretly he may have actually enjoyed it a little too much, but he knew it was all in good fun. Above all, he loved having fun.
One of his favorite pastimes was assigning special nicknames to the people he loved. The first nickname Lance assigned was that of Lance Hogan, who is known to the family as Tahmee HoShón. The legend says, a toddler-sized Lancey Boy didn't like sharing his name, so one day he boldly proclaimed he was the only Lance allowed and Lance Hogan was now named Tahm, the name evolved over the years.
Other legendary nicknames from the mind of the one and only Lance include, Dave Baby Cortez, Sarah Lopez, Mae the Blueberry Princess. Hunter was Triple H and Daniel L. was Fat Jesus. Every name has a beloved memory attached. If you received a nickname from Lance, cherish it.
Treasure every story, every joke, every hug. Treasure every bit of himself that he gave to us.
Lance was preceded in death by his son Daniel Lee; his mother, Roberta Big Man; his father, Earl Rock; adopted brothers, Matthew and Benny Cloud and Kenneth “Shorty” Sun Goes Slow Jr.; maternal great-grandparents, John E. and Louella (Charges Strong) Wilson Sr., and Max and Cordelia (Spotted Tail) Big Man Sr.; paternal great-grandparents, Alexander and Mary (Other Blackbird) Plain Feather; maternal grandparents, Benjamin Big Man Sr. John E. Jr. Robert Stanley, Ivan Wilson, Rosaline Fry and Arlene HeCrow; paternal grandparents, Shirley and Robert Pickett, Everett Plain Bull, Ruby Plain Feather, Judy Bryant, and Merle and Lee Plainfeather; maternal aunts, Tsianina and Phylene Big Man; maternal uncle, Stephen Paul Big Man; paternal uncles, Leland Rock, Sheldon Pickett, and Rodney Plain Feather; maternal cousins, Shani Springfield; paternal cousins, Kateri Pickett; maternal niece, Merri Beth Brien; and close friends, Jacob Big Hair, Frank Tushka, Tommy Medicine Horse, and Darius and Lisa Couture.
He is survived by Yolanda; sons, Amaré Dale, Daniel Wade, and Christian Vaquero; daughters, Marsaiah Beverly Jean, and Valarie “Baby Val” Nicole; adopted sons, Daniel Charles (Jeanne), Tennyson “Scooter” (Alicia), Christian Aaron Lee “Cheeto”(Candace), Robert “Bob”, and Calvin "Bob"; adopted daughters, Naomi Rose and Joleigh Bear Cloud; Godson, Gary Big Man; his grandmother who raised him, Beverly Charges Strong; his aunt and uncle who raised him, Lorrie (Big Man) and Eric Brien: his traditionally adopted parents, Karen and Billy Ray Eastman Sr.; his siblings, Rebecca (Marlon) Big Man, Mary (James) Rock-Bennett, David (Nina) Big Man, Sarah Hawk, Laneya Costa, Annie Singer, Rochelle Other Medicine and Frank Jace (Donine) Backbone; adopted siblings, Eric Big Man Brien, Luella and Aaron (Misty) Brien, Maureen (Lewellyn) Dawes, Geoffery (Tamara), Billy Ray Jr. (Jackie) and Miriam Eastman, Jeffery Allen (Angel) Grisham, LaChelle and Corina Pickett, Shawna Wilson, Bobbi Schinderline, Daralynn (Aaron) Old Elk, April Fray Wilson, Amberle Blaine, Gene Grose, and Mandale (Bambi) Spotted Horse; maternal grandparents, Lawrence “Bobo” and Pauline Wilson; paternal grandparents, Rowland and Danny (Mary Ruth) Plain Feather; maternal aunts and uncles, Sandra and Priscilla Wilson, April (Terry) Wilson Enemy Hunter, Benito (Kathy) Morrison, Benjamin (Emily) Big Man Jr., Curtis (Lavonna) Real Bird; paternal aunts and uncles, LeeAnn (Jackson) Pretty On Top, Fannie (Craig) Cliff, Orin (Diane) and Robert Clarence Pickett, Lionel and Kenny Ward, and Tytus Bryant; maternal cousins, Cody Wilhelm, Cheney, Francis Jr., Edwin, Jeremiah (Gena) and David Springfield, Crissy (Jules) Seminole, Tammy (Robin) Stadnick, Ashley (Zach), Joseph (Martha), Arthur, Emma, Benjamin and Mark Big Man, Sunshine (Rocco) Cooper, Carolyn (James) Dawes, and Benito Jr. (Athalia) Morrison; paternal cousins, Joshua (Savannah) Pretty On Top, Jackie (Isaiah) Singer, Alexander (Judy), Robert III and Cedric Pickett; close friends, Delbert Whiteclay, Marcus Fitzpatrick, Larson Rondeau, Santee Iron, AJ Broken Rope, Cheyenne Bixby, John Wilson, Jeremy Pretty Paint, Justin Oleyte, Nathan Stops, Lyon Doyle, Jeremy and Fernando Tushka, Monty Pretty Weasel, Thomas Ceasley, Ronald Rides Horse, Benji Bear Below, Bailey “Sport” Laforge, and Travis Brien; and his adopted mom Bobaleen Red Star.
Lance’s extended families include the Big Man, Spotted Tail, Wilson, Charges Strong, Jefferson, Whiteman, Straycalf, Long Tail, Iron, Goes Ahead Pretty, White, Pretty Shield, Prairie Bird, Yellow Leggins, Ten Bear, Gros Ventre, Plain Feather, Other Blackbird, Birdhat, Bulltail, Plain Bull, DeCrane, Stops, Goes Ahead, Red Star, Little Light, Turns Plenty, Rides Horse, Chief Goes Out, Chief Stick Sutherland and Top Sky families.
Our family is very large, if we have missed you in our grief, please accept our apology.
Lance Christian was an incredibly special person. If you had the pleasure of knowing him the family invites you to share a story at his wake. May your words lift the spirits of everyone in mourning during this difficult time. Wake will begin at 4 p.m. on Friday, February 11 at the Multi-Purpose Building in Crow Agency. Masks are required.
Funeral service is 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 12, 2022 at the Multi-Purpose Building. Masks are required. Burial will follow at the Crow Agency Cemetery.
Bullis Mortuary was entrusted with the arrangements.